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tv   The Live Desk  FOX News  August 25, 2009 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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we invite you to go to to find out more information. jon: that does it for us. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute martha: welcome to "the live desk." trace: we are inside and in the fox news room because this is where the news begins. behind me is the national desk. they are covering america. over here is the foreign desk. they are covering the globe. every picture that comes into fox news channel comes in through here, our media desk. on "the live desk" those pictures will always be on the right-hand side of the screen. in the top box, breaking news concerning the deficit. the cbo has come out with a brand new numbers, and they are much worse than projected.
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polls show that americans believe the number one board of the obama administration should be to reduce the deficit. what does this mean for health care then, cap and trade, and other administration policies? in the middle box, a story that broke here on "the live desk." an explosion at a northern california high school. now we know about the man behind the bombing and the vast amount of weapons and explosives he was carrying. in the bottom box, developments on this model who was caught drinking beer and then must sentenced to be caned. now there is a key decision from the judge in the case. martha: also this afternoon dick cheney slamming the attorney general and justice department for reopening the investigation into cia-post-911
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-- 9/11 investigations. he said that this causes people not to trust the government. the justice department says that they will not prosecute anyone who acted within the law. the attorney general has said -- and catherine herridge is with us from washington. >> two more documents have been released. these were the ones that dick cheney wanted released in the spring because he said that they would show the label intelligence was gleaned from the intelligence program -- interrogation program. one document written by a cia analyst focuses on khalid sheikh mohammed. he is described as "one of the government's key sources on al qaeda." he provided reports that shed
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light on al qaeda's doctrine. in a statement, the former vice president said -- also, as you mentioned, the attorney general appointed john durham to do a preliminary investigation to determine whether a full investigation and possible criminal prosecution against cia officers and contractors should go forward in a limited number of cases where legal guidelines were violated. this same data that will be reviewed was also reviewed by prosecutors in the eastern district of virginia, and they concluded only one case should be pursued, and that was already pursued, and the individual is serving time so that raises the
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question, the data -- what has changed? the data has not changed, but the political climate charlie has. trace: we now have the ranking member of the intel house, peter hoekstra, issuing a statement -- he is with me now from michigan. >> nice to be with you, trees. trace: the former cia head michael hayden says he believes this move by eric holder will make cia agents more timid. you believe that is a proper assessment? >> yes, the key word here is a
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heart reopening this case. -- they are reopening this case. it has all been done before, but now there colder it is looking back to things that were done years ago, and at the same time, the threat against our troops on the ground in afghanistan is getting tougher and tougher. we need a cia that is focused on keeping american troops safe and winning this war, not more about what politicians and the justice department may do to them for doing their job. >> there is a school of thought -- trace: there is a school of thought out there that some of these military members may have gone outside the lines. >> the report shows that that is exactly what happened. there is no dispute some of these folks went outside the box we created for them, and that is a serious concern.
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there is agencies to look at it, looked at the cases, and they were dealt with. now eric holder want to go back to look at that. earlier someone said, what has changed? there is no new data in real investigating them. he is going over the same plowed ground that has gone -- that has been looked at before. trace: how can one go on with this investigation and give the prosecutor the authority to go through this thing without identifying caa agents? that is a profit -- that is a tough promise to keep. >> he cannot keep that promise. the president also said that he wanted to look forward, but now we are looking back.
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the president needs to lead. his national security team is in disarray. eric holder is freelancing. leon panetta has threatened to resign. lead democrats in the house are saying the cia lies all the time. the president needs to focus. he needs to deal with the threat that our troops are facing every day. trace: congressman hoekstra, thank you. martha: we want to know what you think about all of this. take our poll at question here is, what do you think? is it a good idea to reopen these cases of alleged abuses of terror suspects? so far, six to 2000 of you have already voted. -- 62,000 of you have already voted.
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6% of you believe yes. 94 believed -- 94% believe that it is not a good idea to reopen these cases. trace: the white house announcing the deficit will balloon to $9 trillion over the next 10 years. the cbo had a separate production with a number closer to $7 trillion. either way, both agree that this year's deficit will increase to $1.60 trillion. meantime, president obama announcing this morning he will keep the federal reserve chairman ben bernanke at his post, saying he shepherded america through its worst economic crisis since the worst of -- great depression. >> he tackled the economic crisis with class and confidence. trace: we will have much more in
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a live report from major garrett. martha: and you remember this dramatic story from yesterday. a 3-year-old girl is in stable condition after her arm was sucked into a drain in a pool. the girl's mother, whom you see in a white tank top, was holding her child's head above water. the people who helped in this case said that the parents did a great job. the child was airlifted to the hospital. we warn you of this danger just weeks ago. this is the second biggest cause of injuries to children. she is in a hospital now, and hopefully she will be fine. rescuers said that the mother was walking her very closely and
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as soon as she realized what was happening, she jumped in. trace: her arm was inside that pipe. it looks like it is going to have a happy ending. it is the stuff or films are made of. millions infected by a killer virus, many of them children. this might be the future of america. we are not trying to freak you out. but there is a possibility of the told the h1n1 virus could take on our country beginning next month. and she broke the law. she had a beer and was caught. she was sentenced to be caned. now the court is backpedaling, but she says, bring it on. boss: so you've been doing a nice job out there helping people save money on car insurance.
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trace: in the tambov, preliminary results from the presidential election in afghanistan coming in. both president karzai and his challenger abdullah abdullah getting nearly 40% of the boat. in the middle box, nasa will try again to launch the shuttle discovery. this morning liftoff was scrubbed because of
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thunderstorms in the area. preliminary liftoff is at 1:10 a.m. in the bottom box, cash for clunkers program lives on, at least for car dealers, until it o'clock tonight. -- 8:00 tonight. martha: and we have been telling you about h1n1. this pandemic could infect half of the population of our country. that is coming straight from the obama administration's advisory group on science. they say the virus could flood hospitals with 2 million cases, and are planning for a scenario where we could see 90,000 deaths. and jonathan serrie is at the cdc conference where this is
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topic number one. yesterday, signs and i just came out with the report that to just the possibility of this. does this match up with what the cdc is saying? >> the cdc welcomes the report but say we need to view this report in the context of planning. cdc officials say it is the role of government to be prepared for the very worst. martha: i thought we had some videotape there. talk to me about these advisers who want to speed up the vaccine production? so many mothers across the country are about to send their kids back-to-school, and the big fear is there will not be enough vaccine to go around to protect them. >> they predict there will be an
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initial 45 million doses at least. that is about half the number of doses that are used for an entire flu season. officials are optimistic there will be enough to go around. and shortly after the initial doses come out, each week, additional doses will follow up. advisers are urging them to ramp up the process, hoping to get the vaccine as early as september. cdc officials say that the process has already been ramp up, and there are still in clinical trials developing a vaccine, and the overall process is taking longer than they hoped. they are still looking at mid- october as the most likely scenario for seeing the vaccine come to the general public. they are also fairly certain that you will require two separate vaccinations with a
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three-week interval in between. regardless of when dispensing comes out, you will have a three-week interval between the two shots, and an additional two weeks to build up antibodies. people will build a need to do all that hygiene work as their first line of defense. bill take a long time for americans to build up immunity. martha: thank you. there is so much we do not know about this virus. it could mutate, the vaccine they are working on may not be as effective. trace: from everyone we speak to, it is somewhat frightening and perhaps confusing. at we have a link that gives you a list of short -- stories about h1n1. you can go into their and that will give you all the information you are looking for.
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as parents, we are doing this every day, but we are still confused. martha: just as an example, take a look at this statement. it turns out, sadly, that is a myth. swine flu, like the seasonal flu, can affect anyone. what is worse, teenagers, young adults, pregnant women -- similar to the food of the 1800's that was so devastating -- was that it affected young people. they are not usually at high risk for complications, but there was a 26-year-old man that i read about from martha's vineyard who died. he was in pretty good shape, too. we do not want to cause panic,
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but we need to be aware. trace: very, very aware. she is a malaysian model. morality police arrested her for drinking a beer at the beach. then she was sentenced to be changed as punishment alcohol is legal only if you are not muslim, but she is. the public was shocked by the punishment, so the prime minister urged the sentence to be reduced, and it was. however, she wants to serve her time. now an islamic court judge has postponed the punishment indefinitely. it turns out they do not have the staff to administer the caning according to muslim law. they were going to do it four times, and they could not lift the kaine the above the
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shoulder. she wanted it done in public, but they said it would not happen. martha: we will keep our eye on that. they say lightning never strikes twice, except maybe in the office of the senate democratic leader. new poll numbers are in, and it does not look good for harry reid. he is poised to be the second democratic leader, perhaps, if history repeats itself, that will be voted out of office. on to our next story. the more we learn about this story, the more unbelievable it gets. police say he stormed his school, set up two pipe bombs, and the rest of the school started running. >> we heard two big explosions. we saw smoke coming from the classrooms. martha: that was just the
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martha: have you heard this story? he wrote teachers threw themselves in the line of fire.
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it was a story you saw here yesterday. a 17-year-old boy is accused of detonating two pipe bombs that went off inside a california high school. that was supposed to be just the beginning, we now know, of what was supposed to pay columbine- like nightmare. police say that he had an arsenal. a vest with tan plaid bombs strapped to it. he also had a two-foot sport, and a chain saw to attacks by the students. >> one bomb went off. then a teacher made us go under the desk. and then we heard the chain saw trying to start. the teacher poker hand out, and she saw a man with a chainsaw, and then they made a call to the
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office. and we heard the second pipe bomb. martha: he was a former student. the real hero here was three schoolteachers and the school principal. they tackle this young man, despite the fact that he was wired with explosives. kudos to these teachers who really took their own lives and put themselves in danger to protect the children. trace: we have brand new poll numbers that could be a sign of the times for the democratic party. harry reid is gearing up for the fight of his political life. he is facing off against denny tarkanian, the former u.n.l.v. basketball coach's son. as of now, harry reid is losing, and tarkanian is enjoying a double-digit lead.
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election day is still a long way away, but it could be deja vu for democrats, reeling from the loss of tom daschle from 2004. now republicans are looking for a vp. shannon bream is in washington. -- a repeat. >> polling numbers are early, and he certainly does not want to the vp of tom daschle. that was the first time in 50 years the top senate leader had lost his seat. harry reid is the time the democrats, again, and he does not want to have that repaid. it is also not good among independent voters. he has a 59% disapproval road -- rating. he is key in this race. trace: it is not very good for
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him. what are -- how are supporters responding? >> they are downplaying it, and at the end of the day, his constituents have know that he is a very powerful person. he did quite a lot for them at home, for example, the yucca mountain's. you have to look at his former life as a boxer to understand how she will handle the race. >> any thing -- anyone who knows about his history -- he was literally a fighter when he was younger. he was under way but he did pretty well. he has fought every step of his career. >> but pounded on the other side say he has a lot of things to overcome, including high unemployment. he also needs to decide how closely linked he will be to president obama and his policies.
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>> how effective can he be in breaking from obama but representing his constituents? i think there is a real problem here? -- a real problem here. trace: thank you. martha: deficit numbers released today. as those numbers are released, upon numbers are going down. president obama's and buys as cannot like what they are seeing in these numbers. major garrett will bring down the numbers. there are the white house numbers, the cbo numbers, and we will break it down for you. and a symbol of the city that could have come crashing down. the can-doers. - the budget masters. - ♪ yeah yeah the knock-out artists who are finding more ways to spread their dollar further.
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trace: we have brand new
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information on three big stories. there is word from afghanistan about a massive blast in canada are. conner powell is streaming live. >> and early evening blast in canada are killing 29. that death toll is expected to increase. the numbers are coming in and hamid karzai has a slightly, but is still far away from 50%. trace: the justice department is investigating cia interrogation techniques. what about the plots that those techniques foiled? >> enhanced interrogation techniques criticized as being too harsh resulted in the
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intelligence that resulted in numerous al qaeda arrests, irs that foiled a second wave of attacks against the u.s.. trace: much more information coming up. thank you. some are calling for the line of the senate to step aside. molly is in boston. >> some are calling for 10 kennedy to resign. they say he has largely been an absentee senator and should step aside to allow the political process to move forward. democratic strategists say that that is not likely to happen and the request falls on deaf years in a state that is largely run by democrats. trace: that is brand new information. martha: there is a fiery confrontation erupting in brazil. police using tear gas and stun
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grenades in an attempt to evict residents in and of illegally settled salam in sao paulo. they did fight back. they also burned tracks, garbage, and cars after leaving. one police officer was injured. and there are problems in space for south korea's first-ever rocket launch. the satellite on board failed to reach orbit. south korea has already launched 11 satellites, but all of them were on foreign rockets. north korean officials say that they will monitor international reaction to this launch. trace: the cbo now predicting a $7 trillion federal deficit over the next decade, much worse than
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the $4 trillion they projected in march. fears over federal spending taking a toll on the president's poll numbers. the latest rise in poll shows 29% of likely voters strongly approve of the job he is doing. 40% strongly disapprove, giving the president and approval index of -11. major garrett is it on martha's vineyard. why was cbo and the white house posture number is in disagreement -- white house's numbers in this agreement? >> this is a bit confusing. the omb in the mud house said the 10-year projected federal deficit will be $9.10 trillion. the cbo said $7.10 trillion. it sounds like the cbo is more optimistic than the white house,
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but it is not. in march, when the cbo was running these numbers, and came up with a $4.40 trillion cumulative 10-year budget deficit. so from their point of view, things have gotten worse from $4.40 trillion to $7.10 trillion. all the cbo penalizes is policy. it cannot protect the costs of program proposed by the administration that the congress has yet to enact. think about health care, cap and trade. that is why the number is smaller. look at the administration when it talks about the existing policy. it has proposed $6.30 trillion. that gives you a feeling for how much future spending proposed by the administration could cost, and how much it has raised --
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how much it could raise the deficit. i hope you got that. trace: we were having our own conversation. if you throw in everything, cap and trade and all that stuff, and then it gets to the big numbers. thank you. martha: it is all about timing when it comes to things in washington. we just brought you that brand new ball number. now the president's approval rating has been dipping. so is the white house risking more political fallout by going after the cia interrogation tactics? are they making a political gamble that they may lose? hair in the air, i'd spend class preoccupied, bothered by itchy eyes. but now i have new zyrtec® itchy eye drops.
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airplane lands in a parking lot in northern new jersey. amazingly, no one was hurt. in the middle box, prime minister gordon brown said he was repulsed by the home coming for saved by the lockerbie bomber in libya. that apology may not get him off the hook. we will have a report from london. in the bottom box, that massive fire that destroyed 150 homes in athens, greece. they say it is now contained but fire crews are patrolling the area. martha: brand new development on our top story. the attorney general's decision to investigate the cases of alleged cia abuses of terror suspects shortly after 9/11. announcements from the it carmen of justice coming after printed obama's push to overhaul health care is turning his popularity.
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so could going down this road with the cia be a political mistake at this time for the president and his administration? with me now is a former director of public affairs at the cia. she is also the former communications director for president bush. we also have a legal preventive, a former federal prosecutor. let me start with you, mary. these political calculations are made carefully. is this the right time, given the fact that we have 9/11 anniversary around the corner and we always have the possibility that may happen that could make it look like we are weak on terror? >> you have to look at everything that happened today. the left will like it a lot as they are not happy about health care. the people on the right are
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happy about ben bernanke. most of the people are in the middle, and that is what barack obama will be focusing on in the fall. he n n get the support of these people to stabilize the situation. martha: i do not know about that. we have a random poll -- 94%? we have a lot of independent dealers. they say it is a bad idea. -- viewers. >> i understand the demographic of people who watch fox, but look at them together. this is about fixing problems. it is less partisan. the less partisan it is, the less attractive per obama is. martha: this is the most recent arrest as a number that we have on the screen. 29% strongly approved.
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40% strongly disapproved. jennifer, i want to go to you next. first, i want to show this quotation from a vice cheney -- former vice president dick cheney. your thoughts on that? >> i think what he is trying to say is this should not be about politics, but security. that is the only guiding principle. did the interrogation program that was used, enhanced interrogation techniques, did they work?
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yes or no? the answer is yes. the other documents that have shown that by -- from the cia have also shown that. i think the wrong decision was made by the obama administration, but now they are taking it further. everyone knew what the results of that report was since 2004. there is nothing new. nothing has changed except for the position of the department of justice. martha: now let's look at it legally with john flannery. the doj found one person who broke the law, and they were charged. what is the reason for reopening this case without any new information? >> dick cheney talking about principles? i think what we have to do is
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show to the world that we have credibility. we abide by the rule of law. a fair and impartial look at the spy john durham, who has an outstanding reputation, is the least that we can do. if i had any criticism of this is that he should have a water birth to look at this. he should be able to look into this apartment officials and others who wrote memos of the rising torture. these are not enhanced interrogation techniques, these are torture. the report does not speak about the success of the specific torture devices. it's become about the advantages they obtained. that is different. if you want to say you can commit crimes for some advantage, that is a given, but this country is supposed to be better than that. we should not have to expose our service men and women to these techniques abroad. i think we are doing the right
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thing here. martha: ok, we have touched on a lot of topics. i think a lot of people would say that this did not fall into that category. >> consider the justice department. >> these were career prosecutors. >> a career prosecutor does not mean anything. i spent a long time of my career prosecuting officials as special counsel on the hill. i investigated these independent counsels in the past. the fact that you label someone a career prosecutor does not mean they are doing their job. martha: we will see how the legal side of this plays out. there will have to be an investigation first. we will see what john durham is able to turn up. thank you, everyone. trace: and john mccain is
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holding a town hall meeting on health care reform in sun city, arizona. we expect it to get under way. we will bring that to you live. and $9 trillion. they predicted size of the deficit according to the black house, if they get all the programs they want, of course. how big is that number? consider this. if you lined 9 trillion $1 bills and to end, do you know how far they would reach? i will not tell you yet. i can tell you, it is out of this world. martha: i am going to stick around. if you're taking 8 extra-strength tylenol...
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trace: new productions of the national deficit are literally astronomical. the white house budget office predicting a $9 trillion budget. if you laid out nine trillion $1 bills, it would stretch more than 870 million miles. that is long enough to reach from the earth to saturn. if he do not want to go there, you can go to the sun and the back five times. martha: you may not do too well on your second trip back. trace: i have to borrow this dollar from tim gaughan. martha: john mccain is now getting back into the health care fight. he talked about this on the campaign trail and he has a lot to say.
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he said there can be no public option in this bill. he says that will not be the case. they have to drop the public option. look at that ground. -- crowd. he criticized the president's plan over the weekend and said he is simply leaving it to congress. he insists republicans are ready and willing to sit down. what he wants from the president is to sit down with a group of republicans and democrats and make a new plan to gather. anita vogel is in arizona where she is waiting for this to begin. tell me what we expect to hear from senator mccain? >> we are expecting him to arrive in a few minutes. he had been pretty clear where he stands on health care reform.
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he has been pretty vocal. we know he supports some aspects of health care reform like more competition, more accessibility, but he has a problem with a key part of the president's plan. he has called in an irreconcilable difference. >> i believe one of the fundamentals for any agreement would be that the president abandoned the government option. >> we have behind us a crowd filled with senior citizens, so we expect a lot of questions about medicare, medicare advantage, the brand new bill of rights that had been proposed. they are hoping for some straight talk today. martha: thank you. trace: down the chain will take to the podium any minute from now. -- john mccain will take to the
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[captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute trace: there is breaking news out of sun city, ariz., where john mccain is about to take the podium in a health care town hall. that is a live look. there is a packed house. john mccain has said all along
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that he is against a public auction. the question is, what kind of questions will he get concerning the public option? in the meantime, we want to bring in bill sammon. he is the vice president of news. you talk about this deficit. maybe you could call in the saturn deficit. [laughter] rasmussen polls show that the number one priority of this administration is to lower the deficit. when you see these numbers come out, much worse than anyone thought. suddenly, health care seems to be in jeopardy. >> what is worrisome about the deficit in this is bad news for his health-care plan. even the cbo, the non-partisan
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budget experts, they said that health care reform will add to the deficit. it is not exactly like he is proposing something that is deficit-neutral. we have weeks and weeks of town halls on health care, but all of a sudden it is about security. i am sure there will be held for questioned at these meetings, but i also wonder if they will talk about these cia investigations. both of these things are very much on the minds of american people. martha: what your talking to is this question of whether or not president obama at this point consider switching gears. some have suggested that on the investigation to go forward may
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be drawing attention to a different subject at a time that healthcare is having such a tough time. i want to take a bad day -- take a look at a wall street peaciec called "saving the obama presidency."
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martha: a very tough assessment from bill mcgurn. i'm curious what you think about that, bill? >> if health care fails, it will be a major setback for this president, but that is not to say he will be a one-term president. i still think health care could fail and he could be reelected. for one thing, he is enormously popular. who do the republicans have that could be in giants player in a political sense? -- giant-slayer in a political sense? i think he speaks the truth here. he may not get health care, but that does not mean his presidency will be over. trace: it is interesting, talking about john mccain and national security. he has said he was against
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torture. the president in april said that this did not make us safer, enhanced interrogation techniques did not make us safer. brian wilson gave us some data. catherine herridge said that we got 50% of our knowledge about al qaeda through these techniques. all of a sudden, it looks like from people on both sides of the debate, there is evidence that these things were effective. >> that is true. do not necessarily believe this kabuki dance that you are seeing where the white house says we want to look forward by our attorney general has to do his duty and look back eric holder is an employee of barack obama. -- look back. eric holder is an employee of barack obama. he knew what he was getting.
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obama often tries to have been both ways. he wants this prosecution to go forward because it is throwing a bone to the left wing of his base which had been unhappy with him for the jettisoning the health care public plan. martha: john mccain is coming out right now. he is saying hello to everyone right now. he wanted to do things differently, give everyone $5,000 toward their health care plan. >> it is interesting, you were saying how he wanted to start all over. that is a politically brilliant thing to say because first, it will never happen. there is no way that we will get a new health-care plan from that, and he knows that. and you are right, there is still bad blood. barack obama defeated john mccain for the presidency.
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do not think there is glabad bld no bad blood. trace: talk about starting over. 1100 pages in this bill? what is in it, why do we need all of this stuff? it is about covering everyone, why can't we have something that is simpler to understand? the country needs time to digest this before we accept it. >> people have actually tried to read that bill. even the attorneys i know have tried and cannot make sense of it. there is talk about returning to the days when bills were written with simple, declarative sentences. you remember that one marine who
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spoke in that town hall that we showed. he said, you are not allowed to take our health insurance. there is a feeling bubbling across the country that people remember that we are sovereign. we do not have a king. the people are literally sovereign. this is starting to stir some of those feelings. trace: let's listen in to john mccain. >> what must be preserved in america as well [applause] so we can bring costs under control. but we do not want to destroy the highest quality health care in the world. my friends, i was done recently with a couple of other senators at m.d. anderson, the clinic -- it is well known for cancer treatment. there were people there from 90 countries.
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they could have gone any place in the world, but they came there. we are proud of our health care facilities here in arizona, including the mayo clinic. people come from all over the world to go to the mayo clinic. let's preserve it. [applause] before i forget, want to pay tribute to a great american and an expert on health care, congressman trend francs. [applause] -- trent franks. [applause] looks like you have a tough re- election coming up. [laughter] if he feels, to weigh in when we get to the questions, i would be glad to have the benefit of your expertise.
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i know you have been working hard on this issue. let's start with the fundamental principle that we do not want to destroy the quality of health care but we all want to get the cost under control. let me frame this for you for a second. the reason what cost is so important. a lot of you cannot see this, so i will read it briefly. we have committed an act of generational theft. we have rob our children of their fiscal future and we have done in by a massive -- amassing deficits of on presented -- unprecedented proportions. the deficit is insurable, according to the present situation. look what we did in 2009. $787 billion in the stimulus. that is $1.1 billion with interest. we build up the banks.
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too bad we did not do anything for small businesses in america, and unemployment. [applause] $410 million in the fiscal year omnibus appropriations bill. there were 9000 earmarks. 9000. my friends, there is corruption in washington. [applause] ok? [applause] former members of congress resigned and president -- prison. i predict there will be more indictments because this system is broken. the president said he would get rid of this. my friends, i urge the president to veto every pork-barrel item on every bill that comes across his desk. so now we own chrysler and general motors. that is only $83 billion. $33 billion to expand children's
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health insurance programs and health-care programs, according to the cbo, which are an additional $1 trillion. by the way, after we passed the stimulus package, do you remember what the president's economic advisers said, that unemployment would be at 8%? it is over 9% in arizona, 9.4% across the country. the public debt -- your debt, our children's -- is now around $10 trillion. the deficit has just gone up an additional $2 trillion. these numbers are staggering. and of course, the deficit for this year is somewhere around $1.60 trillion, the largest deficit we have had before was around $450 billion. this is the context in which we have to look at health care
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reform. can we afford to spend another $2 trillion on the american people and that the public? i do not think so. >> no! >> so we want to fix health care, but we can fix it. we do not have to increase the deficit. in fact, we can save money on health care in america. who are we talking about here that is uninsured? that may run through them quickly. there are approximately 47 million uninsured americans. 5 million are college students. 9 million are people making $75,000 a year or more. 10 million of them are non- citizens, illegal immigrants. >> boo! >> 11 million are currently eligible for medicaid, or schip. so that leaves us with about 12
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million uninsured. that is where our focus should be. let me just say again -- [applause] let me just say again, we want affordable and available coverage for all americans. what we cannot and must not do it is the public option, which is really the government auctioneoption. it is a government auction because it is a government-run health care system. look at it in england, canada, other countries with government-run health care systems. this is a camel's nose under the tent. if you think the public option -- from now on i will call it the government option. if you think that is going to work, i believe we should at
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least examine what they do in other countries. you see a number of organizations like the ama and others who are "signed on" -- which is by the way remarkable. in england, they have the national institute for health and clinical education. they have blocked breast cancer patients of getting drugs. they have block innovative treatments. they have prevented the treatment for patients suffering from alzheimer's. that is what they do there. a obviously, we do not want that in our country. i want to mention to you two things. one is the mayo clinic. the mayo clinic said the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to create higher
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quality more affordable health care for patients. in fact, it will do the opposite. they went on to say, unless legislators create payment systems that create good patient results at a reasonable cost, the promise of transformation on american health care will wither. their real losers will be the citizens of the u.s. let me just mention with the cbo mentioned as well. they were appointed by the democratic majority in congress, by the way. on the contrary, the legislation significantly expand the federal responsibility for health care costs. the changes we have looked at so far do not resent the sort of fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs included in the insurance coverage proposals. when he was asked whether the
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cost would reduce overtime, the cbo director said, no. the way i would put it is that [inaudible] we are talking about a multibillion-dollar debt late on the american people. unfortunately, not an improvement on the quality of health care in america. so let me just say, what can we do? what should we do? what must we do? first of all, we want a premise that health care should be affordable and available to all americans. [applause] how do we do that? let me give you some ideas. let's focus on what we can afford. i talked about the fiscal problems we are in. insurance reforms to improve access. let's make sure americans are not denied access to insurance
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policies, and those who have pre-existing conditions, those who are not in trouble, let's put together risk pools and give them insurance so that it is available. let's reform medical malpractice. [applause] my friends, any one of our positions will tell you they practice defensive medicine, and understandably so, because of their fear of being sued. in no bill in congress right now is medicare -- medical malpractice part of the bill, why? because of trial lawyers. duh. [laughter] we could save $100 billion a year in cost just by allowing physicians not to have to practice defensive medicine in the prescription of tests and procedures that are absolutely unnecessary.
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there are some specialties that are paying as much as $200,000 a year for their insurance for medical malpractice insurance. who pays for that? we all know who ends up paying for that. let's have tax reforms to purchase insurance. in the campaign i was much maligned because i said we should give every family in america at a $5,000 refundable tax credit so that they could go anywhere to purchase the insurance of their choice which best suit their family's needs. right now you know you cannot go across state lines -- you go to new york and you think there is an insurance policy -- policy available in arizona and you are not allowed to get that? why is that? there are great disparities between the cost of health insurance from one state to another, by the way. california has enacted some real improvements. texas as well.
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we need national change to medical malpractice. let me mention -- [applause] i am not going to get into too much more detail, but do you know what i'm the greatest cost increases have of every day is? readmission to hospitals. everyone here knows someone who was discharged from hospital to early and had to go back again, and costs dramatically increased. the problem, my friend, is the insurance companies. doctors know that they will not pay more than a few days. that needs to be changed. ithere is a guy who has gotten pretty famous lightly and he is the ceo of safeway. they have programs and policies
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that incentivized their employees that practice was and fitness not to smoke. to work out. to exercise. to get regular physical checkups. and they give them cash rebates even. they have policies that fit their particular needs. guess what? safeway's health care costs have gone down. why can't we adopt that on the national scale? why can't really reward people for practicing on this and fitness? -- whelm the santas? -- wellness and fitness? >> i want to emphasize to you again, if we go to this government option -- they called a public option -- then one of two things will happen. it is just another interest policy available along with private insurance companies.
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or you will see the government advantage come into play and you will see more movement into the government health insurance, and you will see the disappearance of private health insurance in america, over time. so i am very concerned. what you want us to do, and what i want us to do, is to remove this public option. let's sit down together, enact some of these reforms. i am sure my friends -- my democrat friend across the aisle -- would agree with most of them. maybe not the trial lawyers. [laughter] let's have a beginning. one other real quick. we need outcome-based payments for treatment. if someone has a chronic disease, and that person is going to need treatment for a period time, let's say that we will give you this amount of dollars, and if the patient is
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in better health at the end of that year, then we will give you a reward. outcome-based treatment. rather than paying for every procedure. many have seen the cost of each of those individual treatments. i will stop now and say, look. america is a great country. one of our obligations is clearly to remind every american with an equal opportunity to better their lives and fulfil the obligation that our parents and grandparents had, and that is to give our children a better country than the one we inherited. we have to make health care available and affordable to all americans but we do not lay in bed on them -- a debt on them. however, i am confident that americans sitting down with the same goal in mind, affordable
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health care and quality that need to be maintained, that we could all work together. i am grateful for these town hall meetings. i am grateful for your involvement. if it had not been for these town hall meetings across the country, i believe health care reform and a government plan would have been railroaded through congress by now. thank you for being here. [applause] questions? if you could just raise your hand, we have people with microphones coming. >> thank you for coming. my question is indirectly related, but i will read it. i am 64 years old and i have observed congress for many years. i have watched them slip from my body from a body that works for
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constituents to a body that is focused more on the election more and voter representation us. [applause] -- less. today's politicians are self- serving and even vindictive. [applause] to me, the two-party system has failed our map nation miserably. why should voters continue to support a major party candidates when they failed to receive a solution to these issues? [applause] >> i do not know. [laughter] i think you may be seeing the beginning of a peaceful -- i emphasize a peaceful -- rubble to in america. -- revolt in america.
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[applause] i have seen involvement from americans like i have never seen before. everybody from special interests have gone to the white house asking for support. then when we finish, we will take care of you. there is no better example than the drug companies. [applause] the lobbyist for the drug companies, someone who makes over a million dollars a year, went to the white house, and was quoted, and he said, we need somebody to come in first. if you want someone to come in first, you will have their rock- solid deal. the ceo of pharma.
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he said that they attract a negotiation threw out, moving away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from canada which could save money. "$80 billion is the max." that is what he said. has anyone ever been excited -- inbound to the board house for a deal lately? -- invited to the white house for a deal lately? drug companies are blocking generic drug companies. now apparently they need to ensure that there will not be competition in medicare between drug companies to give me the lowest price, and now the white house will adopt a policy of blocking importation of drugs from canada.
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by the way, they are reportedly spending $150 million in ads supporting this. guess what? it is a democrat bill. if that does not make you cynical, nothing will. we have to take back our government from special interest. [applause] >> thank you. you are the most patriotic person that i have had the honor to know. [applause] >> i should have called on you. [laughter] >> i worked on your campaign, too. my concern is acorn. what in the world is going on with that and why do we keep on giving them money? this is ridiculous. it is just out of control. thank you. [applause] >> let me just say, there are
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allegations of irregularities in the last election and previous elections. i think those irregularities, like any other allegation, needs to be investigated. i do not have information that would indicate, except for what has been alleged. so far, i do not think there has been. >> boo. >> wait until the microphone. mechanical failure. it is intentional. [laughter] we will get you another one. >> i just wanted to thank you
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for allowing us to express our concerns. i went last week to the rally in front of the convention center across from acorn and i noticed a t-shirt that said hr 676. it is an old bill that is being reemerged. i have not heard anything on fox news. so i went home and did my homework. i found out that is now on the house floor as the and then into a jar 3200 legislation. the amendment would replace division a of hr 3200 and make its single payer legislation. all this talk about public option, we will become single payer. the bill actually states that the u.s. national health insurance act establishes a unique american universal health insurance program with single
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payer financing. the bill would create a public finance, a privately-delivered system that improves or expand to already existing medicare program to all u.s. residents and residents living in u.s. territories. every person living -- visiting the united states, and u.s. territories, will receive a united states national health insurance card and id #. >> boo! >> how long is it? >> maintain current state federal funding for state programs. a modest payroll tax on all employees and employers of 3.3% each. a 5% tax on the top five% of top earners. a small tax on stock and bond transfers. closing corporate tax loopholes and repealing the bush tax for the highest 1% of income earners.
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do you know about this still? >> in typical senate snobbery, i do not know about that bill. i have heard of similar proposals coming from the liberal left in america. i understand that. i respect their philosophy and respect their views, but obviously, i would vehemently oppose such a proposal. but that is what we are looking at. there are people in this country who believe a government-run health care system is best for america. if you like that, you will love cash for clunkers. [laughter] the point is, i would never support such a proposal. i had seen the proposals. obviously, the public option, to whatever degree it is, is the beginning of the and the private health insurance in america because of the advantage that it would give to the government
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plan. if you are an employer and you can get a health insurance plan that is less expensive, at least initially, from the government, of course you are going to take it. and of course if you are facing a find that you will either pay and have the government pay for health insurance, or you are going to adopt the health insurance policy which is not government run. that has so many requirements that it is basically harmful for your ability to hire employees. yes, ma'am? >> thank you. i may be a one-person minority here, but i wish to speak anyway. it is interesting. republicans have been in the control of government at almost
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all levels. from the presidency to the congress. >> tragically, we lost the house and senate in 2006. >> the during the time when george bush, ronald reagan, the second george bush were in, there were no attempts to change and reform the health- care system. during that time, all the studies showed that the number of uninjured and under-insured -- which is something that you have not talked about at all -- we all have coverage but a lot of it does not apply to major situations. there are limitations to everything. how come during that time when republicans were in power, a
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number of uninsured and underinsured rose, and health care costs skyrocketed, and drug companies and insurance companies have made a huge profit? of course, their administrative costs are twice that of medicare, if not more. i would appreciate some kind of response to that. [applause] >> thank you for being here. wong, we should have done more, two, there were several attempts that were made. but we should have done more. we should have done more on a bipartisan basis. but we also needed to work more on a bipartisan basis, and we need to do that now. but there were a number of attempts. i would be glad to give you many of those bills. in the senate, if you do not have 60 votes, that can be blocked from consideration.
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i am not here defending the practices when republicans were in power. in fact, i fought against them at the time, and i do now. obviously, health care issues such as medical malpractice reform were not going to be extended by the democrats either. we need to do a better job and the time is now. obviously, there is plenty of responsibility to go around. now we are where we are, and the solution proposed by the democrats, in my view, will destroy the quality of health care in america. [applause] >> i appreciate the opportunity to ask you a question. i.m. and 87-year-old world war two veteran. [applause]
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i was very fortunate to serve on the war fighting with the 29th infantry division. i do not know if you know where their position was in france and germany. that is beside the point. i have been blessed to have lived these 87 years, and 63 with my beloved wife. [applause] 23 years on social security. what country would support me for 23 years with social security payments far above what i ever put in? i am on a medicare advantage plan and i am very happy with it. i am happy with my personal position. [applause] -- physician.
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my question is, will i be able to maintain this, war will government interference guide me -- drive me to a plan? i know any bill has not passed. any time an objection comes up on the points that are printed already, and the points -- turns out to be sour, the president says it is not going to be put in there. i want a guarantee. i would appreciate that you and others across the aisle -- which you have done recently -- that we end up with something more than a pig in the poke. thank you. [applause] >> well, i am always honored to
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be in the presence of the greatest generation. thank you. could i just say that is what this national debate is about. i still believe that the american people can overcome special interests, national interest. they've overcome pharmaceutical companies. in all due respect, aarp, ama, and others. i think we will be able to succeed because your program is typical of so many millions and millions of americans who like their health insurance, who like their medicaid, medicare, who want to keep it. our job is to keep cost down, which as you know it is double digit inflation, and at the same time preserving the quality of health care, which america has,
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in some small way, have repaid you for your service to the country. [applause] >> is very nice of you to be here with us. i want to know how the president is getting by with all of this money? it is against the constitution. doesn't he know that we live under the constitution? [applause] >> i'm sure that he does. [laughter] i am serious. i am sure he respects the constitution. >> no! >> i really do. i am convinced of it. i just believe, my friends, that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy about
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the role of government. that is why we have competition for public office and competition among parties, competition about different ideas and vision for the future of america. i'm convinced the president is sincere in his beliefs. >> boo! >> he is sincere in his beliefs, we just happen to disagree. he is the president, so let's be respectful. [applause] >> thank you. >> by the way, could i mention, i still won the sympathy for the mothers of arizona. we are still the only state in america where mothers cannot tell their children that they will grow up to become the president. [laughter] [applause] >> i am the mother of the daughter who probably will be,
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ok? >> good, do not give up hope. >> i agree with what you said today, but i want to know how. i want to thank everyone for being here today. what do we do? tell me what to do. >> you see that list over there? a malpractice reform. outcome-based treatment for patients. we need to have -- >> how do i get -- >> pre-existing conditions. we need incentives for wellness and fitness. we need to reward people for not smoking. we also need to check into the school lunch program. >> i want to be involved. i want that to happen. that is why we are all here today. i do not vote for the government
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auction. you do. we want to know how to help you. [applause] >> thank you. by doing exactly what you are doing today. participating in the most fundamental, and i think most valuable part of democracy, and that is participation by our citizens in the process and making their wishes known. i still believe if it had not been for the veritable uprising of people all over the country about these proposals that are about to be rammed through congress, we would not be discussing it. we would be lamenting it. in the back. >> good morning. what i want to say it is, first of all, input from a constituent and a question to follow. input on plan b where we will
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have non-profit co-ops instead of the public option. thank you to mr. haywood for telling us exactly what that means. they are going to be called gse's. we know what they are. they are freddie mae and -- freddie mac and fannie mae. we do not want a health care bailout in 10 years. no co-ops. we want what we have now, private enterprise. >> thank you. could i answer and then you can go to the second one? i agree with you, number one. if you want to start a co-op today, you can do that. really what they are talking about is a back door entrance into a government-sponsored program. [applause] >> what will make any health
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care reform and non-starter? what will shoot it down from the beginning is failure to exclude illegal aliens from the benefits. [applause] when you are talking -- [applause] >> ok. [applause] >> yes. >> wait a minute, let me detail that. currently, plans for tax credits to purchase insurance is left full of loopholes in the earned income tax credits, which illegal aliens avail themselves of all the time.
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there has to be a verification of legal presence in the country through the same system. every social security number covered under the tax credit plan is a valid one and a legal american residents or citizens. under no circumstances will there be compromised. none. [applause] >> thank you. >> that was my input. here is my question. [laughter] the idea that the president can appoint 30-plus czars with no accountability to anyone is appalling. [applause] what is even more appalling to me is that nobody in congress seems to be objecting.
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[applause] >> let me say, i object. [applause] >> they now have theyczars and the romans had. -- have more czars then the romans had. it is a way to get around the confirmation process. it has been done before, but certainly never to the degree that this has been done. it is funny you mention that. i think it causes a significant break down in the efficient conduct of foreign policy, among other things, national security. i agree with you and i think this has become now a circumvention of the senate, and
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you may see some efforts at curbing what has become an excessive practice. [applause] let me just say, there is no proposal that i know of that would include illegal aliens. the problem -- illegal immigrants. the problem is we still have to get the border security. [applause] the problem is because people still come across the border illegally and they are here. that is why i pointed out that 11 million people are lumped into this uninsured. we have to continue to secure the border. we have to continue to work with the mexican government to stop the drug cartels that continue to export poison into our children. >> senator mccain, i am a lifelong democrat, but not the
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last time. [applause] i voted for you the republican party. i contributed, and i answered your phone calls. i think i am speaking for the majority here today. we are regretful that you are not in the oval office today. [applause] first, the health care proposal needs to be killed now, in its entirety. no compromises, please. if it passes in any form, it will give the obama administration opportunity to build on it. i think we all know that. with all due respect, senator, i propose you go back to washington, d.c. and proposed that congress return to the medicare plan and social security retirement plan because
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if these plans are not good enough for you and your family, then they certainly are not for our own families. [applause] no compromises! no compromises! no compromises! nuke it now. >> i am glad i call on you. [laughter] [applause] look, on this issue, and let's have some straight talk here, my friends, some real straight talk. the system is broken. the cost of inflation is not acceptable. the medicare trustees say the system is going broke. social security is going broke. whenever you have double digit
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inflation, and then you have a huge problem. i cannot just go back, in all due respect, and do nothing. our kids and our grandkids need to have social security and medicare as well. it has to be there for them. let's go back with constructive, free-market incentives to improve the quality of health care and affordability and availability. i understand your frustration that a government-one proposal and the increase in taxes, everything bandied about, including legislation that the young woman in the back talked about. let me mention one idea to you. since we cannot act, what about a brac commission where we get the smartest people in america and say here are the long-term solutions to medicare and social
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security and have congress vote up or down. [applause] the systems are going broke, and we have to preserve your health care. we have to reserve medicare, medicaid, social security. but the trustees of the system tell us they are going broke. to go back and do nothing just delays have this problem for other people who come after us. i hope you appreciate that. to do nothing is not the answer either. you are very skeptical, but i hope i can convince you of that. to have a government takeover is exactly the wrong way to go. [applause] >> what we need in washington are true statesmen. not more trial lawyer
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politicians [applause] we need to encourage our congressmen trent franks because he is a true statesman from the state of arizona. [applause] >> may i interrupt you for a second? you know the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? one is a scum sucking bottom dweller, the other is a fish. [laughter] there goes my lawyer vote. that was just meant in jest. >> i think it is also a noble idea to examine the health care from foreign countries. but we have something that is closer to us.
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we have american indian reservations. we should be examining what goes on in those reservations as far as government health care. it pains me and scares me to hear american indians, who by the way, are american citizens, say if you get sick, if you have an accident, do it before june. after that, health care on the reservations runs dry. [applause] >> i understand. the indian health service has got a lot of good people in it, but it has been continuously underfunded, and indian health service is not fulfilling all
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the obligations in the treaty. >> thank you for coming. i agree with most of your views. i want to thank you for being one of the first to try to stop runaway spending in years past. not just this year. i have a question. may i respectfully ask you about guantanamo bay? i feel we should keep it open. until teddy roosevelt negotiated with cuba, i thought that was ours. why do we have to build and put money into other prisons and get these terrorist killers on our soil? i respectfully ask you why you voted to close it.
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>> first of all, guantanamo bay is a symbol throughout the world of mistreatment of prisoners. . >> boo. >> let me tell you a quick story. we all have the right to disagree. i was in a prison camp in iraq with senator lindsey gramm, an air force lawyer. we met with a high-ranking member of al qaeda. in the course of our conversation i said to him, how did you succeed so well after the initial american invasion? he said, two things. after the initial invasion there was total chaos. everything was rampant because you did not have control of iraq. he said the second thing that allowed him to recruit thousands
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and thousands of young men was abu ghraib. the pictures of mistreatment of prisoners that you americans held prisoner. you are familiar with those pictures. in my view, we have to have a policy hopefully to return the detainees to the country they came from, put them on trial, and then keep them in prison for as long as necessary. by the way, this return of the eye to libya is an absolute outrage. [applause] in my view, the mistake the obama administration has made one they did not have a policy on how to put these people on trial. they are enemy combatants. some of them we cannot put on trial and we cannot release and there is no policy at associated
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with it. thank you. >> thank you, senator mccain. i am an emergency nurse. this is something i have done for 43 years. >> thank you for what you do. >> all you have to do is stand in an emergency room for a few hours and you can see the problems that are inherent in our healthcare system. one of the biggest problem is patients cannot get to their primary care physician. any health care reform has to, as you said, improve access to family practitioners. from a personal point of view, it is expected in 2020 we will be over 1 million vs short in the country. >> could i ask you a question? in your duties, do you see these problems i was talking about about remissions? >> every problem you have mentioned i have seen daily. i agree with all of your issues
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on health care reform. as a nurse, it is hard for me to know all of the answers, and i will leave that up to your expertise. from a nursing point of view, i would like to see more primary care physicians. >> in your view, how can me get more people in the nursing profession and more primary physicians? >> from a nursing care perspective, most nurses my age are retiring, including faculty. last year almost 100,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing schools because there was not enough faculty to teach. so there needs to be some response ability to increase nursing in schools. >> we would do this through financial incentives? >> certainly, by giving back to the community.
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willing to work in areas that are underserved to get more nurses in the country. >> thank you. [applause] >> i, too, want to thank you for coming today and for looking to the right, instead of always to the left. [laughter] i was pleased to see you support some of the objectives president obama and his health care proposals, like coverage for all, lowering the cost, eliminating pre-existing conditions and things like that. some of the things said here today are things i do not agree with. you mentioned the two-year wait in england to be treated for ms. in england to be treated for ms.


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